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CHAPTER 15 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Why do I need to market? Whether or not you know it, you are already marketing through your interactions with your customers and the community. This Guidebook will help you do it better. I have no budget; what can I do? Some of the most effective marketing involves no out-of-pocket cost. Through "earned marketing," the airport receives publicity from newspaper articles and radio and television reports. Speeches and press releases may also generate effective marketing for the airport. These are just some examples of marketing you can do without a marketing budget. Is there a standard marketing program I can use? Your marketing program needs to address the particular issues your airport faces, which will vary from airport to airport. The Guidebook takes you through the process of identifying those issues and provides examples of marketing programs that other airports have used. What type of advertising is best? There is no single type of advertising that is best. It depends on your par- ticular issues. However, the Guidebook provides a ranking of different methods of advertising from least expen- sive to most expensive and describes which methods small airport managers believe are most effective. Is this all about air service? No. Small airports market for multiple reasons. Some of the most important reasons are to retain existing tenants, attract new ones, improve relations with airport neighbors, and obtain funding. Do I need to hire a consultant? It depends what your marketing issues are and what you need to accomplish. Increasing community support for the airport may be something you can accomplish with your own staff and help from local businesses, media, and business associations. On the other hand, a program to persuade your airline to change its airfares may well require outside advice. How do I measure success? You should measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, but this does not necessarily mean taking expensive polls or surveys. A number of low cost methods of measuring success are described in the Guidebook. We operate a small airport in the shadow of a much larger airport. Realistically, is there anything we can do? The Arnold Palmer Airport case study is one example of a small commercial service airport operating in the shadow of a much larger airport. The airport developed a marketing plan that relied heavily on commu- nity support to regain air service that it had lost. How do I get started? The Guidebook provides a relatively painless seven-step approach to developing a marketing plan. Try it! 154